Disputing and challenging everyone autistic trait?

Hi,

my youngest child has been diagnosed ASD and I wondered if this is what I have lived with undiagnosed myself. I’m 38. Would appreciate any advice.

i was a clever child up-to age 11 then struggled with studies, attitude, and friendships as a teenager. I didn’t really know how to socialise and was always late, messy, disorganised for anything. At age 13 I started to act out what I had watched on tv - soaps etc. Had a baby at 15 and left school with no qualifications. Had no meaningful friendships was quite isolated socially until I met my husband. I have a business and I’m a workaholic.

i didn’t really bother going to social events until about 5 years ago and I find it quite awkward. I’m ok now 1-1 especially on any business related topics or kids topics but in a group of people or 1-1 with someone who I have nothing in common with I find it really hard. I prefer to be around very confident self absorbed people because they will quite happily keep the conversation going. I’m also very good at giving advice to people in situations of crisis people who need help or support.

I notice that if I have a disagreement with someone or if someone stops speaking to me I don’t really mind if I never have contact with them again. (Think this is where lack of friendships in my teens stems from)

I hate being centre of attention. I don’t like being praised, I would rather people didn’t notice my achievements, birthdays or anything new about me hair style/outfits/car whatever.... I don’t brag about anything I’m very humble. Talking hairstyles I often don’t notice if someone else has had a haircut/colour or new coat whatever unless they or someone else points it out.

the major thing that effects me in my daily life is that I have all my life had major disputes with companies. Anyone who over charges/fails to deliver/is incompetent etc I complain. I spend hours complaining by letter or by phone. I get so angry for example if I have a late business package by a few days which can be a daily occurrence I call the company in a rage.  I just don’t stop shouting often end up in tears with frustration. I also studied to be a lawyer in my 20s and use the law to fight for things, people literally don’t get a word in, I quote legislation and section numbers that they breach and don’t stop until the situation is resolved.  I question myself all the time because I’m always complaining about someone/something and I will just say what’s on my mind - no filter when I’m angry. I ask my husband why I have so many disputes with companies and he just says no one else has the balls to challenge people like I do. He says most people wouldn’t dream of challenging someone especially Professionals like councils/schools/doctors.  Most people just let it go..... The thing is I don’t do this for satisfaction nor enjoyment it actually makes me feel uncomfortable thinking about it. I think back and cringe, It just escalates very quickly, I get so mad with incompetent staff. I have recently tried really hard to not act on impulse and read over emails etc before I send them. I was having a clear out and have boxes full of complaint letters and court documents it’s out of control. My email sent box is full of complaints. This cannot go on

Does anyone suffer from this?

how can I stop this behaviour?

  • The problems you describe don't sound like autistic spectrum issues. Bearing in mind that I am not a medical professional, just someone who is well read and has a lot of personal experience. Have you ever considered other mental health issues regarding your problems? What you describe sounds to me more like Borderline Personality Disorder. Of course, the real issue is what the problems are and how to access help, and I would suggest you talk to your GP to see what local mental health services could be available to you, and to get a correct diagnosis of any underlying issues if that could be beneficial.

  • Actually, this sounds like me.  I do seem to escalate complaints quite a lot, but then feel very knotted up afterwards, as if I've committed a crime against someone.  I feel this way even though my complaint is justified and my husband tells me I've remained quite restrained and professional (I worked as an accountant for a lot of years so I can easily step into this persona). 

    I think I'm loading these situations with lots of confrontational feelings that are very familiar and practiced to me from my past (schooldays and beyond, when i was too afraid and passive to stand up to things) and, now that I have the words, I feel a double need to drive things home.  I'm not sure whether this is all really me, though, or a route I've been squeezed down over the years.  I'm sort of "levelling up" in a way and, when i get that way, I have to pull back and ask myself what I'm really angry about.  The clue is when it's obviously disproportionate to the situation. 

    It's now reducing since i got my autism diagnosis and I'm more aware of my patterns and their roots.   Plus I practice various relaxation techniques (esp. loving kindness meditations which dial down the sense of conflict between myself and others).  

    Maybe seek an assessment plus explore within counselling while you wait?